The Brunhes–Matuyama reversal, named after Bernard Brunhes and Motonori Matuyama, was a geologic event, approximately 781,000 years ago, when the Earth's magnetic field last underwent reversal. Opinions vary as to the abruptness of the reversal: it may have occurred over several thousand years, or much more quickly, perhaps within a human lifetime.
The apparent duration at any particular location varied from 1,200 to 10,000 years depending on geomagnetic latitude and local effects of non-dipole components of the Earth's field during the transition.
The Brunhes–Matuyama reversal is a Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point (GBSSP), selected by the International Commission on Stratigraphy as a marker for the beginning of the Middle Pleistocene, also known as the Ionian Stage. It is useful in dating ocean sediment cores and subaerially erupted volcanics.
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- Leonardo Sagnotti, Giancarlo Scardia, Biagio Giaccio, Joseph C. Liddicoat, Sebastien Nomade, Paul R. Renne, Courtney J. Sprain; (21 July 2014). "Extremely rapid directional change during Matuyama-Brunhes geomagnetic polarity reversal". Geophys. J. Int. 199 (2): 1110–1124. Bibcode:2014GeoJI.199.1110S. doi:10.1093/gji/ggu287.
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- Behrendt, J.C., Finn, C., Morse, L., Blankenship, D.D. "One hundred negative magnetic anomalies over the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS), in particular Mt. Resnik, a subaerially erupted volcanic peak, indicate eruption through at least one field reversal" University of Colorado, U.S. Geological Survey, University of Texas. (U.S. Geological Survey and The National Academies); USGS OF-2007-1047, Extended Abstract 030. 2007.
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